« VorigeDoorgaan »
IN FOUR BOOKS.
Book I. The Psalms of David.
Book II. Hymns on the Collects.
Book III. Various Hymns suited to the different
Seasons of the Year.
Book IV. Instructive Hymns.
Hymns designed for Family Worship.
Hymns for Children.
Hymns for Private Meditation.
PRINTED FOR C. J. G. & F. RIVINGTON,
ST. PAUL'S CHURCH-YARD,
AND WATERLOO-PLACE, PALL-MALL.
It was not originally the design of the Compiler of the present volume, to add to the number of works of this kind, of which so many are already before the public, but simply to have made provision for the particular wants and circumstances of his own congregation, though for reasons which it is of no importance to state he has been induced to alter his intention.
His principal object in substituting the present Collection of Psalms and Hymns in the place of that which was previously in use among them, has been the exclusion of all those familiar, and, in some instances, positively childish appellations, as applied to the Saviour of the world, which appear to him to be forbidden by St. Paul, in the following words, "Yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now, henceforth, know we him no more.' 2 Cor. v. 16. He is now exalted, his days of humiliation are passed by, and the character under which we are taught to look for his return is, in the first instance, certainly, that of a Judge to us all. By comparison of Dr. Watts' close renderin Psalm xlv. with the Hymn which com
with the following line, “O Lord I would delight in thee," we readily discover an unaccountable perversion of Scripture language. The similitude there made use of, though beautifully appropriate to the Church as one general body, becomes monstrous when incautiously applied to each individual member.
A further object has been to raise the standard of devotional feeling among them, as Christian worshippers, to a more cheerful and manly tone; and to get rid of all that luscious and languishing sentimentality which so generally pervades some of our collections of hymns, and which has a direct tendency to paralyze every effort of strenuous exertion, if not to corrupt the heart*. The different tone of feeling with which the same sentiments may be variously expressed, is very forcibly exemplified in the contrast existing between Psalm cxxv. Old Version, and the hymn commencing "When I can read my title clear." Or, to give another instance, compare the devout, reverential, and manly, mode of address in the Liturgy, "Good Lord deliver us ;" or the sober language of the thief on the cross, "Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom," with the childish, languid, and impertinently familiar, tone of those hymns which frequently repeat the line "Dear Lord, remember me." Low spirits, and melancholy, are very ill calculated to assist the Christian in fighting the good fight of faith, or in running the race set before him. Penitential sorrow, it may be observed, belongs to a very different class of feelings, and is not incon
* See Knox's Essays.
sistent with cheerful courage, and vigorous resolution.
It should not be forgotten that collections of hymns have also been made a vehicle for introducing partial statements of divine truth, under the specious pretence of a purer Gospel. A collection of texts has therefore been added, as a sort of specimen of the proper way of comparing Scripture with Scripture, and allowing to every part its due weight. (See page 293.)
It may not be unsuitable in this place to offer a word of advice on the general subject of Psalmody. The intention of Psalmody is the setting forth the praise and glory of God, and it is evidently the duty of every one to take a part in such a work who has received mercies for which it becomes him to be thankful, and has a tongue given him to speak forth the sentiments of his heart. How inconsistent then is the common practice of confining the use of Psalmody to a few individuals, who are apt to call themselves, for the sake of distinction, "the singers," and who have sometimes been ignorant enough of propriety to expect remuneration for their services; thus, confessedly, looking for their reward from men. In fact, the whole congregation ought to be the singers, and those who take the lead are bound to make use of such tunes only as can be easily learnt and remembered. Fine pieces of music, and a display of talents, are as much out of place in singing the praises of God, as a Greek sermon, or Latin prayers, would be in the reading-desk or pulpit. It must ever be remembered that God looks at heart; we shall greatly mistake, therefore